Cornell Professor William Jacobson insists that Palin "put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a 'death panel.'" Mike Crowley has an epiphany:
Oh! Not literally a death panel! Funny how some people misunderstand quotation marks as indicating precision and literalism. So, when I write that William Jacobson is in favor of a new "greedy insurance industry price-gouging scheme," people should understand the nuanced concept signified therein.
P.S. Jacobson doesn't even bother trying to defend the other phrase Palin puts into misleading quotation marks--"level of productivity in society"--which as far as I can tell has no connection to any proposal authored or even imagined by any Democrat currently in a position of power. Presumably that's another concept the currently-unemployed Palin didn't have time to spell out.
Another apologist: Ann Althouse.